Industry Insiders Edition 9

Mandala Exchange

Mandala Exchange

Nov 28. 8 min read

Hello everyone! We are back with ‘Industry Insiders’, a dedicated biweekly newsletter that scours the internet to inform and educate people about what’s happening in the crypto world in an engaging and entertaining manner.

In this edition of the newsletter, we’re going to talk about:

👉 Nike launches a web3 platform 🚀

👉 El Salvador’s Bitcoin-backed ‘Volcano Bonds’ 🌋

Nike’s entry into web3 🤝

Nike has been one of the biggest fashion-world players in Web3 through RTFKT, the NFT and digital apparel startup it acquired in late 2021, and we’ve seen the apparel giant gradually bring its own brand into the space as well. Now Nike aims to step up its efforts with the launch of a new platform, .Swoosh.

The .Swoosh platform is billed as the epicentre for Nike’s digital efforts around Web3. It’s designed to spotlight the brand’s NFTs and virtual apparel initiatives, including future ways for customers to become co-creators and share in digital product royalties.

Nike will use the platform as a hub to launch virtual apparel like t-shirts and sneakers for avatars that can be used within Web3 games. It will also utilize Web3 tech to allow users to unlock real-world benefits, such as exclusive physical apparel or chats with pro athletes. Some other popular NFT projects—including one from Adidas—come with physical apparel or real-world perks.

The company plans to gradually let new users into the closed platform through the end of the year, ahead of the first NFT drop in January 2023.

Nike’s NFT apparel will be minted on Polygon. Nike plans to sell digital sneakers for less than $50 a pair.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin-backed ‘Volcano Bonds’ 🌋

The tiny Central American nation is laying the groundwork for its plan to issue $1 billion in bitcoin-backed bonds using blockchain technology and harness the geothermal power of the nearby Conchagua volcano. 

The administration of President Nayib Bukele has sent the country’s Legislative Assembly a 33-page document outlining the regulatory framework. The bill seeks to establish a National Digital Assets Commission that would oversee the regulation of digital asset issuers, service providers and other participants involved in the “public offering process” of digital securities.

In 2021, under the leadership of President Nayib Bukele, the Central American nation became the first in the world to make the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin legal tender. Apart from buying up bitcoin during price dips and openly sparring with the International Monetary Fund as it warned the nation to reverse its decision.

Nuggets from the cryptoverse📊

  • Roughly 2.3 million US taxpayers traded cryptocurrencies in 2020 according to IRS data, a 149% increase from 2019 when there were nearly 1 million crypto users.
  • FTX owes its 50 biggest unsecured creditors a total of $3.1 billion according to court documents, with a few customers owed more than $200 million each.
  • President Bukele says El Salvador is buying one bitcoin every day.
  • US House and Senate announce hearings on the FTX collapse.
  • Oil giant Shell is sponsoring Bitcoin magazine and bringing its cooling techniques to the Bitcoin mining industry. The goal is to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy costs. 
  • Hardware wallet manufacturers Ledger and Trezor saw an exponential rise in sales this week as consumers rushed to self-custody solutions to safeguard their digital assets. Ledger saw their biggest day of sales ever.
  • Dogecoin has shot up over 22.5% in the past week over speculations regarding usage for Twitter payments.
  • New filings from FTX’s bankruptcy lawyers claim the exchange lacked corporate controls and that its financial statements were untrustworthy. The exchange had virtually no accounting practice or governance, and power was concentrated in the hands of a few individuals. The report shows that the exchange’s private keys were shared via an unsecured group email account.
  • New York became the first state to instate a temporary moratorium on new fossil fuel-powered cryptocurrency mining operations.
  • Japan’s central bank has started planning a central bank digital currency (CBDC) experiment with the country’s major financial players. The Bank of Japan is working with three megabanks as well as regional banks in the Asian nation—and next year will trial a digital yen.
  • Notable Chinese venture investor Bo Shen revealed he lost $42 million worth of crypto as a result of a theft from his personal wallet.
  • ConsenSys has informed users that it is set to collect additional data from those using its popular Infrura tool, attracting criticism on social media in the process. Infura is an API-based tool that allows users to connect their application to the Ethereum network, which provides the basis for many key Web3 projects, such as Aragon, Gnosis, OpenZeppelin, and ConsenSys’s own flagship wallet service MetaMask.
  • The Securities Commission of the Bahamas announced it had moved FTX assets to wallets in the control of the government agency, though it did not specify which assets and how much it had transferred.
  • Crypto lender BlockFi paused withdrawals on its platform and is reportedly preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing due to “significant exposure” to FTX and Alameda.
  • Users staking Ether on service provider Lido are earning as much as 10.7%, an all-time high since the Merge.
  • Over $700 million has exited DeFi products on Solana over the past few weeks, causing performance issues on the network. Binance and OKX suspended USDC and USDT withdrawals from Solana, and Tether announced it was moving $1 billion USDT from Solana to Ethereum.
  • New reports indicate that $300 million of the $420 million raised by FTX in October 2021 was used to purchase shares directly from SBF.
  • A group of investors filed a class action lawsuit against FTX and celebrities who promoted the exchange, including Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Osaka, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin O’Leary and the Golden State Warriors.
  • Crypto.com accidentally transferred $400 million in digital assets to rival exchange Gate.io last week. The funds were returned just in time for a proof-of-reserves audit done by the exchange.
  • Hedge Fund Ikigai had a majority of its funds in FTX.
  • The head of Twitter’s crypto team resigned this week, joining the mass exodus of employees who have left since new owner Elon Musk took over the company.   
  • Matter Labs raised a $200 million Series C round co-led by Blockchain Capital and Dragonfly. Matter Labs is known for its work on Ethereum scaling solution zkSync.  

From the World of Web3, NFTs & the Metaverse🔮

  • Crypto marketplace X2Y2 announced it would begin enforcing creator royalties, reversing an earlier decision of optional royalties. OpenSea confirmed it was enforcing creator royalties earlier.
  • Yuga Labs acquired Beeple’s WeNew Labs and its flagship NFT collection, 10KTF. Beeple and WeNew Labs’ CEO Michael Figgie will join Yuga Labs as an advisor and Chief Content Officer respectively. 
  • Yuga Labs is donating CryptoPunk #305 to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami.
  • Steve Jobs’ raggedy old sandals tied with an NFT sold for $200k.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo announced that he is launching an NFT collection on Binance.
  • The Argentine Football Association’s crypto fan token ARG plummeted as Argentina was defeated by Saudi Arabia in the FIFA World Cup. 
  • Rockstar Games updated its website to stipulate that fan-operated servers for Grand Theft Auto V can no longer utilize cryptocurrencies or crypto assets, specifically NFTs.

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